The city of Solana Beach has been a well managed city for the more than 27 years we have been incorporated. However, the 2008 recession impacted us and budget cuts in excess of $500,000 were implemented. These cuts were not sufficient to continue needed city services and it was necessary to use money from city reserves. Money has been spent only on city projects with the highest critical need and priority while other needs have been set aside until economic conditions improve.
This year, with an improvement in economic conditions, it appears there will be a small revenue surplus of approximately $100,000.
Given the recent recession history with the necessity of using reserve monies, it is mind-boggling that the City Council would even consider the possibility of spending $200,000 of our tax dollars on an unnecessary special election. Regardless of what you have read or heard, only the City Council can make the decision to call for a special election. The Fletcher Cove Community Center Initiative which has recently been validated by the Registrar of Voters, does not call for a special election. In fact, the proponents of the initiative do not want and have never wanted a special election. That is the very reason the Initiative lays out rules for use which are totally consistent with existing municipal codes.
Even if the City decided that they have an extra $200,000 to spend, isn’t there a better use for that money? Wouldn’t it be better spent to help replace the condemned Del Mar Shores stairway to our beach, repair of the Fletcher Cove Lifeguard Station, improve La Colonia Park, repair of pot holes and surface streets, or increase staff salaries that have been more or less frozen since 2008?
The budget priorities selected by the City Council, with public review, when they prepared the recent budget, did not include the cost of a special election. It would be fiscally irresponsible to dip into city reserves for an unnecessary special election.
The residents of Solana Beach need to fully understand the current situation in the city and share with the City Council their expectations for continued responsible decision-making.
Mary Jane Boyd